BTH UALR Gameday: Shields' teams have been solid in revenge games

Since UALR Coach Steve Shields took over 10 seasons ago his teams have been very good in same-season blowout rematch games.


UALR has gone 10-1 in games against opponents who beat them by 10 or more points in an earlier meeting the same season. The Trojans (8-4) will get another chance tonight as they host Louisiana Tech (8-3) at 7 p.m. at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
Louisiana Tech beat UALR 70-52 in November in Ruston, La.
It started in the 2003-2004 season in which UALR won the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division. The Trojans lost 85-50 at Middle Tennessee, and then beat Middle Tennessee 69-62 in the same week.
Typically, the first game has been on the road and the second game at home. The exceptions came in 2010-2011 when UALR lost 86-50 to Oral Roberts in Tulsa and then beat ORU 52-49 in Las Vegas. And last year, UALR lost 68-49 at home to Louisiana-Lafayette and then beat the Ragin’ Cajuns 72-70 in Lafayette, La.
The only loss in the second game during the Steve Shields era came in the 2008-2009 season. UALR lost 79-47 at Western Kentucky in the first meeting. UALR also lost the rematch 78-69 at home in the game in which Steven Moore walked off the bench in the first half.

Here’s the complete list:
  • YEAR         OPPONENT             1ST          2ND
  • 2003-2004  Western Kentucky        L, 86-71    W, 68-60
  • 2004-2005  Middle Tennessee        L, 85-50    W, 69-62
  • 2004-2005  Arkansas State            L, 78-64    W, 73-67
  • 2005-2006  Appalachian State        L, 75-65    W, 78-63
  • 2006-2007  Troy          L, 82-70    W, 79-71
  • 2007-2008  Arkansas State            L, 77-62    W, 82-52
  • 2007-2008  Denver       L, 54-40    W, 66-55
  • 2008-2009  Western Kentucky        L, 79-47    L, 78-69
  • 2010-2011  Oral Roberts               L, 86-60    W, 52-49
  • 2010-2011  South Alabama           L, 92-79    W, 82-68
  • 2011-2012  Louisiana-Lafayette      L, 68-49    W, 72-70
  • 2012-2013  Louisiana Tech            L, 70-52    TBA


If you put stock in the RPI (Ratings Percentage Index), tonight’s game should be pretty intriguing. Louisiana Tech comes in rated No. 107 and UALR No. 108 in the RPI, a system utilized by postseason tournament selection committees to compare teams. Louisiana Tech is at 0.5377 and UALR at 0.5374. UALR has played the tougher schedule to date. UALR’s schedule is ranked 142 while Louisiana Tech’s is 283.


Freedom rings: Louisiana Tech gets to the free throw line a ton more than its opponents. UALR wants to get there as well. UALR needs to force the issue and get some easy buckets at the charity stripe tonight.
Relegate Raheem: Whether it comes down to designated stopper Leroy Isler or somebody else, UALR has to limit the points for Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby. In La Tech’s loss to McNeese State, Appleby was held to 4 points. UALR held him to seven in the first meeting and needs to stay on him again tonight.
Pressure cooker: UALR was definitely more composed in handling Tulsa’s press on Saturday. That’s going to have to continue when Louisiana Tech turns up the heat in the backcourt tonight. UALR had 18 turnovers in the first meeting and needs to stay closer to 12 tonight,


Louisiana Tech comes in as a 2 point favorite tonight. UALR has been an underdog at home only once this season, beating Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Four of the five predictors go with UALR by a narrow margin. USA Today's Jeff Sagarin the only one who picks Louisiana Tech. On average, UALR is picked to win by 1.2 points:
OMNIRANKINGS (3-0): UALR 68, La Tech 67
REAL TIME RPI (10-1): UALR 74, La Tech 71
THE SPORTS NETWORK (9-1): UALR 69, La Tech 65
JEFF SAGARIN (9-2): La Tech 76, UALR 73
CBS SPORTSLINE (9-2): UALR 66, La Tech 65
BTH AVERAGE (9-2): UALR 70.0, La Tech 68.8
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